Understanding Asthma – Jumo Health


Jenny: When I tell my mother I’m afraid
to go to sleep in case I have an asthma attack, she gives me a hug and an encouraging speech. But when I tell my friends about my fears…they
take me into outer space! What else do you expect when your friends
are the Medikidz! Thanks for offering to teach me all about
my asthma, guys! Flying around in these sweet space suits is
definitely a new level of awesome, but I’ve got to ask…do we really have to go in there?! Chi: Asthma affects the airways of your lungs. The biggest airway we have is accessed through
the mouth, soooooo—yup! Jenny: Oh, I guess I should mention the Medikidz
aren’t just taking me to space, I am going to Mediland! A planet that looks and works just like the
human body. Narrator: Inside Mediland’s mouth… Jenny: And [gulp] are we really going down
there? Gastro: Yes we are! This way leads us to the airways, which are
the tubes that carry air into your lungs and back out again. Narrator: In the trachea… Skindy: The airways start off big! We’re in the biggest one now! It’s called the trachea, also known as your
windpipe. Gastro: You’ll notice that the trachea branches
off into smaller tubes. Skindy: Whoa, there are tons of them! Axon: Indeed! Proceed this way, please. Pump: What’s cool about the airways is that
they are surrounded by muscles that help them keep their shape. Abacus: Without the muscles, your lungs would
deflate like a balloon does when you let the air out. Alert! Alert! Incoming! Jenny: Huh, I don’t see anything? Gastro: No, he’s right! I can hear it, it sounds like—
Oh no! Take cover! Narrator: In a lung… Jenny: What’s going on? Chi: Well, sometimes the air you breathe in
contains dust, dirt, and other particles. This would be one of those times! Pump: As you can imagine, this can damage
the lungs, but luckily they’re pretty good at keeping themselves clean and healthy. Jenny: Phew, I’m glad that’s over! Now, what were you saying about—Eww! What is this?! Axon: That sticky substance is called mucus. Your lungs produce mucus to trap the dust
and dirt so that it gets coughed up and out of the lungs. It’s fascinating. Jenny: Yeah, well, fascinating is leaking
into my suit! Germ 1: I’m thinking about putting an infection
riiiiighhttt here. What do you think? Oh, I think that’d look perfect there! Maybe get a nice fever going so we stay warm. Germ 2: Oh, I think that’d look perfect
there! Maybe get a nice fever going so we stay
warm. Jenny: Who are those guys? Chi: Sometimes you also breathe in germs! Pump: If germs get into your lungs, they can
cause infections that make you ill. Jenny: Then we have to stop them! Pump: Whoa, hold on there Jenny. Your body has this problem covered. Germ 2: Umm, you may want to turn around. Germ 1: Quiet, I’m trying to plan an infection. Pump: Jenny, meet the immune system. This army of natural defenders is made up
of lots of cells. They work together to fight off germs. Immune System: These lungs aren’t big enough
for the both of us! Germ 2: Well, what if I stayed and you guys
left? Ow! Okay we’re going, we’re going! Jenny: The immune system is awesome! Skindy: It is, but in asthma the immune system
gets confused. Immune System: Hmm, you know what this looks
like to me? It looks like a…germ! We’re being invaded! Atttaaaccckkk! Jenny: What’s happening? Skindy: Cue the confusion! The immune system starts attacking where there
are no germs. Axon: The immune system begins seeing other
things as the enemy, things like house dust mites, pollen, mildew, tobacco smoke, cold
air, and chemicals! Abacus: They can also see animal hair and
fur as enemies… Which is why a robot is the perfect pet. All of these things are called triggers. Pump: In asthma, when you breathe in one of
these triggers, your airways overreact. This causes damage called inflammation, which
makes your airways swell and become red. Gastro: It also makes the muscles around the
airways squeeze really tight. This is called bronchoconstriction, which
means the airways become narrower, making breathing difficult. Chi: The lungs make too much mucus, which
also makes it harder to breathe, and causes you to cough. All of these things can make your chest feel
tight. Jenny: Argh, what is that noise? Skindy: If your airways are narrow, the air
that travels through them makes a noise called wheezing. The wheezing is, of course, much louder when
you’re actually in the lungs! Coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness are
called asthma symptoms. Gastro: Not everyone with asthma is affected
by the same triggers. Exercise, cold air, and stress are triggers
that can also make your asthma worse because they make your lungs work harder than normal. Abacus: There are treatments that can help
keep your asthma under control. Jenny: Treatments! Yes, let’s do those before I get mistaken
for a germ and zapped. Axon: There are two main types of asthma medicines,
relievers and controllers. Both come as inhalers. Pump: Let’s treat, Medikidz! Gastro: Relievers like bronchodilators are
muscle relaxers that work straight away so you can breathe easier quickly! Abacus: Broncho equals airway, Dilator equals
make bigger, so bronchodilator make airway bigger. Jenny: So that’s what relievers do, what
about controllers? Pump: There are different types of controller
inhalers, but they all reduce inflammation in the airways. Axon: These inhalers don’t work straight
away so you might not notice any difference when you first take them. So that controllers can help prevent asthma
attacks, they need to be taken every day. Abacus: Sometimes kids with asthma need other
treatments, such as tablets. Your doctor will help you work out what’s
best for you. Pump: We’ve stopped this asthma attack,
let’s head out! Jenny: You don’t have to tell me twice! Narrator: Back in the trachea… Chi: Medicine is great, but it’s also important
to know your asthma triggers so you can avoid them. Jenny: Sounds like I’d have to live in a
bubble! What happens if I can’t avoid some? Chi: It’s impossible to avoid all triggers,
but your asthma team will help you work out ways to manage them. Narrator: In the mouth… Pump: Keeping fit and being a healthy weight
can help to control your asthma. Exercise can be a trigger for asthma too. You might have to take your reliever inhaler
before you exercise. Gastro: It’s really important not to smoke. Smoking causes a lot of health problems and
is really bad for your lungs. Skindy: The key to preventing asthma attacks
is staying healthy and taking the right treatments. Come on, let’s get back to HQ! Narrator: Inside Medikidz satellite headquarters… Jenny: Okay, so all of this is awesome, but
what happens if I’m taking my medicine, avoiding triggers, being healthy, and I still
have an asthma attack? Chi: You’re right, asthma attacks can still
happen even if you’re doing everything right. That’s why it’s important that you, your
family, teachers, and friends know what to do! Pump: And this is why you’ll need an asthma
action plan, so you and everyone else know what to do. Your asthma team will help you come up with
an action plan. Jenny: I’m glad I know more about my asthma
and how to treat it, but it’s still rough having to worry about it all the time. Skindy: Living with asthma can be tough, and
also frustrating when you feel different from your friends. Remember, asthma is just something that happens. It’s not your fault, nor anyone else’s
fault. Chi: If you’re ever feeling worried, talking
to someone can really help. Skindy: Totally! Your family, friends, teachers, and your asthma
team, are there to support you every step of the way! Pump: Remember to take your inhalers just
as your doctor says, do regular exercise and avoid triggers as best you can! Chi: And with your asthma under control, you
can get on with doing all the things you love to do. Jenny: Thanks Medikidz! Now that I understand what’s going on, I
don’t feel so worried. Tomorrow I’m going to talk to my friends
about my asthma, but now…I’m ready for a goodnight’s sleep!